Chesuncook Lake Literature

Chesuncook Lake is a majestic reservoir nestled within the North Maine Woods, in Piscataquis County, Maine. It boasts the title of the third-largest body of freshwater in the state, sprawling over 25,183 acres (101.91 km²) with a length of approximately 22 miles (35 km) and a width ranging from 1 to 4 miles.



Formation and History:

The lake’s origins date back to the construction of several dams on the West Branch Penobscot River. The first dam was built in 1835, followed by subsequent additions in 1903 and 1916, ultimately creating the present-day Chesuncook Lake. The Abenaki word “skunk” meaning “goose” and “auke” signifying “place” combined to form the name “Chesuncook,” translating to “goose place.”

Unique Features:

  • Remote Location: Surrounded by the vast wilderness of the North Maine Woods, Chesuncook Lake offers a sense of remoteness and tranquility, making it a haven for those seeking escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
  • Landlocked Salmon Fishery: The lake is renowned for its landlocked salmon fishery, attracting passionate anglers from all over. The southwestern portion, also known as Caribou Lake, is particularly popular for this activity.
  • Whitewater Rafting: The powerful currents of the West Branch Penobscot River below Ripogenus Dam provide an exhilarating whitewater rafting experience for adventure seekers.

Things to Do:

  • Fishing: As mentioned earlier, the lake is a paradise for anglers, offering opportunities to catch landlocked salmon, brook trout, and lake trout.
  • Boating: Explore the vast expanse of the lake and discover its hidden coves and islands by embarking on a boating adventure.
  • Camping: Immerse yourself in the wilderness by setting up camp near the lake and experience the tranquility of nature.
  • Wildlife Viewing: Keep your eyes peeled for various wildlife species that call the area home, such as moose, deer, loons, and bald eagles.


It’s important to note that due to its remote location, reaching Chesuncook Lake requires some planning and preparation. The primary public boat access is situated off the Golden Road connecting Greenville and Moosehead Lake to Ripogenus Dam, offering a launch point for exploring the lake.

Overall, Chesuncook Lake serves as a haven for outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure, tranquility, and stunning natural beauty. Whether you’re an avid angler, a passionate boater, or simply seeking a peaceful escape, Chesuncook Lake offers an unforgettable experience.